How can we get rid of red squirrels in our yard. They are destructive and tear up things to use for nests. - Bath MI area
You probably don't want to put up a squirrel house. Or maybe you do. The red squirrel is a very solitary little creature. In fact, each female takes it upon herself to defend a territory that ranges in between two and five acres. Not only do they defend their territory from other red squirrels, they also defend it from other species of squirrels.
|Two week old Red Squirrel|
I know certain wildlife can be a problem. We have bunnies in the yard that go around lopping the heads off our crocus. Our squirrels dig up plants, attack feeders, and destroy bird houses. The chipmunks dig in the garden and steal lots of bird food. Raccoons are the classic night-burglars and can cause lots of problems in the yard. But I love them all, even the occasional and sometime not so occasional stinky skunk.
They all have purpose. Bunnies can be prey for other animals and trim vegetation. Squirrels and chipmunks are also prey for hawks and other animals as well as seed spreaders. Skunks and raccoons are predators in their ecosystems and play a significant role in controlling lawn pests.
I’m sorry the squirrels are being so destructive in your yard. Michigan is a beautiful green place to live with lots of nature to observe. I have found that it is much easier to learn to coexist with nature rather than trying constantly to fight it.
I think we have to keep in mind that humans cleared their sheltering forests, cut down the dead trees they nest in, removed many of their natural food sources as well as natural predators, and otherwise upset the balance of their native environments.
The next time a Red Squirrel comes clambering around your home looking for nesting material or in search of food or shelter, try to see things from their point of view. They always seem to be angry about something. I wonder if they’re thinking “How can we get rid of those humans in our yard. They are destructive and tear up things to build their houses.”